1443 Talking With God

Transcript

ROBERT: One thing that is so important in every relationship is communication. Most of us who are married, we understand this. A husband was reading the newspaper, and he told his wife, This article says that a woman speaks 30,000 words a day while a man only speaks 15,000 words. And the wife replied, The reason has to be because a woman has to say everything twice. Husband looks up from the newspaper and he asks, What? Living in the same house does not a marriage make. There needs to be some communication. But this is also true concerning our relationship with God. But how do we communicate with one who’s way up there in heaven while we’re living way down here in the world?

SINGING: Blessed be the Lord God Almighty, who reigns for evermore.

ROBERT: No doubt, many of you who are listening today have responded to the love of God, have responded to his grace. Trusting Jesus for your salvation, you’ve turned from sin, you’ve confessed Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God, and you’ve given yourself to him in baptism. You have devoted your life to Jesus Christ. But have you noticed how some Christians seem to have a closer walk with God than others? How that some seem to have a strong, active faith while others seem to have lost that connection with God they once had? What’s the difference? How can we maintain and develop and strengthen our connection with God? Well, that’s why we have the Bible and why we have prayer.

Communication with God involves both talking to God in prayer and listening to God speak through his word, the Bible. Now, today let’s discuss talking to God in prayer, and Lord willing next week we’ll discuss listening to God speak through his word, the Bible.

I think most of us who are Christians know we ought to pray. I remember the words of Jesus in Luke 18:1. He said, “Men ought always to pray and not to faint.”

It’s so easy for us to become discouraged in the work of the Lord. We need to keep that constant communication with God in prayer. In 1 Thessalonians 5:17, the apostle Paul tells us to pray without ceasing. In other words, don’t ever quit praying. Don’t ever give up on prayer. But let me ask, are we really doing what the Bible says in regards to prayer?

You see, if you really want to connect with God in prayer, there are some things you need to keep in mind. For example, if you want to connect with God in prayer, don’t just say the words. Talk to him.

Do you ever find yourself saying tired, worn out words that you’ve used over and over in prayer without really even thinking about what you’re saying? Has your prayer ever become a ritual, maybe a ritual at meals or at worship, and you just kind of go through the motions without really talking to God from the heart?

God doesn’t want empty words. In Matthew 6:7, Jesus said, “And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions,” those empty words that we just repeat over and over again.

Jesus said in Matthew 6:9, “In this manner therefore pray, our Father in heaven.” And he goes on to give that great model prayer.

God wants us to talk to him as a child to his father. He’s not giving us a prayer in the model prayer to recite, to memorize, but he’s teaching us how to pray as the disciples asked him in Luke 11:1-2, “Lord, teach us to pray,” and it’s then that he gave them this model prayer as a pattern, as an example, not something simply to be memorized and repeated without any thought.

You need to learn and I need to learn as a Christian to tell God what’s on my mind, what’s really in my heart, to share with him our concerns.

I love Philippians 4:6, where the apostle Paul said, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.” Tell him what it is that you want, that you need, that you desire to talk to him about.

1 Peter 5:7, Peter says, “Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” God wants us to let go of our worries and to turn them over to him, to trust him with these kinds of things. And that’s what prayer is about.

What are some of the prayers that you remember from the Bible? You know, the prayers that I remember are those that were really heart felt. I think about Hannah’s prayer in. 1 Samuel 1:10 the Bible says she was “in bitterness of soul, and prayed to the Lord, and wept in anguish.” And then she made a vow, “and she said, O Lord of hosts, if you will indeed look on the affliction of your maidservant, and remember me and not forget your maidservant, but will give your maid servant a male child, then I’ll give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and no razor shall come upon his head.” You see, this woman was really pouring out her heart to God.

I think about Hezekiah’s prayer in 2 Kings 20:2. The Bible says, “Then he turned his face toward the wall, and prayed to the Lord, saying, Remember now, O Lord, I pray, how I have walked before you in truth and with a loyal heart, and have done what was good in your sight. And Hezekiah wept bitterly.” Here he was on the verge of death, but he pours out his heart to God in prayer. And God answered him and granted him many more years of life.

Jesus in Matthew 26:39, there in the Garden of Gethsemane, facing the cross, he poured out his heart to God. The Bible says that “he went a little farther, and he fell on his face, and he prayed, saying, ‘O, my Father, if it’s possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.’” You see, Jesus was struggling here. This was a great trial. But he used prayer to give him the strength to go on, to do the will of the Lord.

These were not just saying words. They spoke from their hearts to God. See, God’s not interested in some dynamic lecture, a prepared speech, a poetic recital. He just wants us to talk to him.

Some grandparents were trying to show their grandchildren the importance of thanking God for everything that he had blessed them with, and they encouraged them to speak to God whenever they needed to know what they should do. And Michael, their little four year old grandson, he enjoyed holding their hands, and with head bowed he’d close his eyes, and he’d listen as they led in prayer.

One evening as they were preparing to eat, Michael asked if he could say the prayer. His grandfather asked him, “Michael, do you know how to ask God to bless our meal?”

He nodded yes with enthusiasm. And so he was given permission.

They bowed their heads, and instead of hearing words of a prayer, they herd nothing but a very faint sound coming from the direction of his bowed head. Finally, a very hearty “Amen” was uttered from Michael, and he looked up for an affirmation from his grandparents that he had done a very good job.

His grandmother instructed him that we would say the prayer again, because she said she couldn’t hear a single word of anything he said. After all, we wanted to teach them how to talk to the Father, and they need to know how to do so, they thought.

Well, what happened next kind of drives home the lesson that they’d been attempting to teach. Michael’s facial expression changed from one of joy to one of puzzlement, and he quickly added, “But Granny, I wasn’t talking to you. I was talking to God.”

And so when we bow our heads, when we come before God to pray, let’s remember he doesn’t want our empty words. He really wants us to talk to him.

Here’s something else. When you pray to God, don’t pretend. Be honest with him.

Isn’t it funny how we sometimes come to God in prayer, and we act like he doesn’t know everything about us already?

Do we really think we can fool God?

Why is it that we’re afraid to tell him about our sins, to talk to him about our weaknesses or our struggles or the questions and doubts, the feelings, the fears, the disappointments, the distresses, the concerns of our hearts?

God already knows all about us. He just wants us to talk to him about it, to be honest with him and not pretend.

Job 34:21, the Bible says, “For His eyes are on the ways of man, and He sees all his steps.”

Hebrews 4:13, the Bible says that “There is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.”

1 John 3:20, “For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things.”

Do you remember Jesus’ parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector in Luke 18? The Pharisee was a hypocrite. He was a pretender. But who did he think that he was fooling? He certainly wasn’t fooling God. And anybody else could see right through him.

He was only fooling himself.

When he stood up to pray, he wasn’t praying with God, but with himself. His prayers didn’t go any higher than the ceiling.

But it was that poor sinner that came clean with God whose prayer was heard. If you want to talk with God, you need to be open and honest. 1 John 1:8-9, the Bible says that, “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. But if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Yes, God wants us to be open and honest with him in our prayers about who we are and about what we’ve done so that we might find forgiveness, so we might keep that connection with him.

In James 5:16 the Bible tells us to “confess our faults to one another and to pray for one another.” We need to spend more time with our brothers and our sisters in Christ so that we can help each other in prayer just like James teaches us there.

Psalm 139:23-24, I love the prayer of the Psalmist when he said, “Search me, O God, and know my heart. Try me, and know my anxieties, and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” You see, he was inviting God to come and to take a look and to help him and to show him and to lead him.

I read of one lady who, out of sincere concern over sin and a desire to be what God wanted her to be, she prayed, “God, show me the sin in my life. Show me what I really am.” And she said that in a couple of weeks, she began to pray, “Lord, I’ve seen enough. Please, Lord, don’t show me anymore. I can’t stand myself.”

As difficult as it may be, this is exactly what we all need to do.

Not only to talk with God honestly and openly and with not just empty words, but really share our hearts with him; but here’s something else. Let’s don’t always be asking. Praise him.

Have you ever known those who never call and never come around until they need something from you? I wonder if we ever treat God that way. Do we come to him with a long list of things we need from him but forget to praise him for all that he’s done and all that he’s doing for us already?

Psalm 103:1-2, the Bible says, “Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits.” If we would just learn to count our many blessings.

Philippians 4:6 reminds us not to worry, but to let our requests be made known to him. But sometimes we miss this little phrase in there, “with thanksgiving”. Yes, God wants us to come to him with every concern of our heart, but he wants us to come with thanksgiving. Because you see, when we’re thankful, it reminds us of how good God is, what he has done for us, what he’s doing for us in our life. And it gives us confidence that he will hear and answer our prayers for our concerns and our needs today.

Ephesians 5:20, the Bible says, “Giving thanks always for all things to the Father through the Lord Jesus Christ.” Always we need to be thankful to God. No matter what else may be going on in our life, the circumstances of our life, let’s be busy about giving thanks to the Lord.

Hebrews 13:15, the Bible says, “Therefore by Him, that is, by Jesus Christ, let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.” Yes, God deserves our praise and our thanksgiving always.

You know, the original readers of that passage we just quoted, Hebrews 13:15, they were on the verge of shedding their own blood to remain faithful to God. They were suffering.

In Hebrews 13:12, it refers to Jesus’ suffering outside the gate of Jerusalem and how he shed his blood.

In Hebrews 13:13, the writer encourages the readers to share in the reproach of Christ. Sometimes we hurt while we’re praising God, just as those Hebrew Christians were going through suffering and difficulty and trial, but they were commanded here to continually praise the Lord.

Messengers one after another told Job that his livestock, his crops, his riches were gone, that his servants and children were dead. And Job replied, “The Lord gives, the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord,” Job 1:21. What a wonderful, confident, assuring, positive attitude Job had, praising the Lord in the midst of his suffering and in his trial.

Paul and Silas, they’d been beaten with rods, they’d been thrown into prison, but at midnight they were heard by all the prisoners “praying and singing hymns to God,” Acts 16:25. Can you imagine being in that jail cell in that prison that night and hearing these men of God singing to the Lord, praising him in the midst of their suffering? What a tremendous example. What a powerful act. What an impact it must have on those who look at us as Christians and they see the confidence that we have in the Lord.

I know after one of the terrible battles of the Civil War there was a dying Confederate soldier who asked to see a chaplain. And when the chaplain arrived, he supposed the young man would wish him to ask God for his recovery. But it was different. First the soldier asked him to cut off a lock of his hair for his mother. He asked him to kneel down and to thank God. “What for?” asked the surprised chaplain.

”For giving me such a mother, to thank God that I’m a Christian, to thank God for giving me grace to die with, and thank God for the home He’s promised me over there.”

So the chaplain knelt down by the dying man, and in his prayer he had not a single petition to offer, but only praise and gratitude. Let us learn this about talking to God.

But there’s a final point I want to bring to you today. When you talk to God in prayer, don’t doubt. Believe in him. Don’t doubt God. Trust in him.

”Does God really answer prayer?” we ask. “Do our prayers really make a difference?” “Can we trust God with our prayers?” The answer is yes.

Consider the prayers of Zacharias and Elizabeth in Luke chapter 1 that God would give them a child. In their old age, Elizabeth was still barren when an angel appeared to him, announcing that God would answer their prayer for a child, and Zacharias, he couldn’t believe it.

I think we’re like that sometimes. We don’t really expect God to answer our prayers, and so when he does, we’re surprised about it.

We need to learn to trust God to answer our prayers in his own time. It may have taken a long time for their child to come; but delay is not denial.

We need to learn to trust God to answer our prayer in his own way. God not only gave them a child, but one who would bring great joy, who would be dedicated to God, who would prepare the way of the Lord Jesus Christ.

We need to learn to trust God to answer our prayer by his own power. There was nothing they or anyone else could do. Only God could answer this prayer.

We need to learn to trust God to answer our prayer according to his own purposes. This child was a fulfillment of prophecy and was used by God to prepare the people for the coming of Christ. He was a part of his great plan. Matthew 21:21-24, the Bible says, “So Jesus answered, and He said to them, ‘Assuredly I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, if you say to this mountain, Be removed and be cast into the sea, it will be done. And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.’”

Yes, the power of God is beyond our imagination; but we need to trust him for the answers to our prayers. As James says in chapter 1 and verse 5, “nothing doubting”.

James 4:2-3 teaches us that we have not because we ask not, and we have not because we ask amiss, that we may spend it in our pleasures. Understand that prayer is not like Aladdin’s lamp where you rub it and you get your every wish.

The idea is that we use prayer to accomplish the purposes of God, his will in our life. James 5:16, the Bible teaches us that, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much in its working.”

Oh, prayer is powerful to accomplish God’s work and will for us. 1 John 5:14-15, he teaches us to have confidence, knowing that the Lord will hear our petitions and answer them according to His will.

Somebody said, If the request is wrong, God says, “No”; if the timing is wrong, God says, “Slow”; if you are wrong, God says, “Grow.” If the request is right, the timing’s right, and you’re right, God says, “Go.”

Let me leave you with this final thought today. Louise Redden, a poorly dressed lady with a look of defeat on her face, walked into a grocery store. She approached the owner of the store in a most humble manner.

She asked if he would let her charge a few groceries, and she softly explained that her husband was very ill and unable to work. They had seven children. They needed food.

John Longhouse, the grocer, scoffed at her and requested that she leave his store.

Visualizing the family needs, she said, “Please, sir. I’ll bring you the money just as soon as I can.”

And John told her that he could not give her credit, as she did not have a charge account at his store.

Standing beside the counter was a customer who overheard the conversation between the two. And the customer walked forward and told the grocery man that he would stand good for whatever she needed for her family.

And the grocery man said in a very reluctant voice, “Do you have a grocery list?”

Louise replied, “Yes, sir.”

”Okay,” he said. “Put your grocery list on the scales, and whatever your grocery list weighs, I’ll give you that amount in groceries.”

Louise reached into her purse after hesitating a moment with a bowed head, and she took out a piece of paper, scribbled something on it, and laid that piece of paper on the scale carefully with her head still bowed.

And the eyes of the grocery man and the customer showed amazement when the scales went down and stayed down. And the grocery man, staring at the scales, turned slowly to the customer and said begrudgingly, “I can’t believe it.”

The customer smiled, and the grocery man started putting the groceries on the other side of the scales, and the scales didn’t balance, so he continued to put more and more groceries on them till the scales would hold no more. The grocery man stood there in utter disgust.

Finally, he grabbed that piece of paper from the scales and looked at it with great amazement. It wasn’t a grocery list. It was a prayer. It said, “Dear Lord, you know my needs, and I’m leaving this in your hands.”

The grocery man gave her the groceries that he had gathered and placed on the scales and stood in stunned silence.

Louise thanked him and left the store.

The customer handed a 50 dollar bill to John as he said, “It was worth every penny of it.”

And it was sometime later that John Longhouse discovered the scales were broken. Therefore, only God knows how much a prayer weighs.

Whatever it is, you talk to God about it because you believe in him.

SINGING: No tears in heaven, no sorrows given, all will be glory in that land. There’ll be no sadness, all will be gladness when we shall join that happy band. No tears in heaven fair, no tears, no tears up there. Sorrow and pain will all have flown. No tears in heaven fair, no tears, no tears up there, no tears in heaven will be known. Glory is waiting, waiting up yonder where we shall spend an endless day. There with our savior we’ll be forever where no more sorrow can dismay. No tears in heaven fair, no tears, no tears up there. Sorrow and pain will all have flown. No tears in heaven fair, no tears, no tears up there. No tears in heaven will be known. Some morning yonder we’ll cease to ponder o’er things this life has brought to view. All will be clearer, loved ones be dearer in heaven where all will be made new. No tears in heaven fair, no tears, no tears up there. Sorrow and pain will all have flown. No tears in heaven fair, no tears, no tears up there. No tears in heaven will be known.

ROBERT: We want to thank you for watching our program today. We’d love to hear from you, so let me encourage you to contact us with your questions, comments, or requests at The Truth In Love, P.O. Box 865, Hurst, Texas, 76053.

You may e-mail us at requests@ttil.tv.

Or call our toll-free number, 800-819-2966. And also, please visit our web site at www.ttil.tv.

All of our materials and services are absolutely free of charge. We just want to do what we can to help us all towards heaven.

So let us know how we can help you, and please join us next time right here on The Truth In Love.

SINGING>> The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord lift his countenance upon you, and give you peace, and give you peace, and give you peace, and give you peace; the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious unto you, and be gracious; the Lord be gracious, gracious unto you. Amen, amen, amen, amen.

 

1440 The Messiah Has Come

Transcript

ROBERT >> There are many who believe that Christianity is a blind faith, a superstitious belief without any basis in fact, that to be a Christian, one has to ignore reason and accept the unbelievable. What many are unaware of is the numerous specific detailed and amazing prophecies of the Old Testament concerning the coming of the Messiah and that each and every one of these prophecies have been fulfilled in the life of one, namely, Jesus. The Messiah has come.

Singing >> Blessed be the Lord God Almighty who reigns for evermore.

ROBERT >> This morning let us consider just a few of the amazing predictions concerning Jesus as the Christ that we find in the Bible. Go in your Old Testaments first of all to the book of Micah, to Micah 5:2, where we read about how that the Messiah, the Christ who was to come, would be born in the city of Bethlehem. Here’s what Micah writes.

“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to me the one to be ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting.”

700 years before Jesus’ birth Micah wrote this passage. And it not only predicts the Messiah’s birth, it also proclaims his deity. Did you notice how it spoke of this one who would come and rule Israel? It said that his goings forth are from old, from everlasting. Literally, the “days of eternity”. And so the Messiah is that eternal one who would come into our world.

And the prophet was very specific as to the place of Jesus’ birth. He was to be born in the little town, the small town, Bethlehem of Judah. This would distinguish his birth place from another Bethlehem in the northern part of Palestine. And so you see this very specific prophecy of this eternal one being born here on this earth in that little town of Bethlehem.

Now of course many factors could have worked against the fulfillment of this prophecy. We know that Bethlehem could have been destroyed. Bethlehem could have been abandoned or forgotten. 700 years is a long time for a small town to survive in such a troubled land as Palestine. But it still stood when it was time for that eternal one to come into the earth.

Notice also that Jesus’ earthly parents, they were residents of another city some 80 miles north of Bethlehem, the city of Nazareth. And their arrival in the nativity city was in obedience to the Roman decree which required all people to be registered in the town of their tribal ancestry. Look with me in Luke 2:1-6, where we read about this event.

“And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. And so all went to be registered, every one to his own city. Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered.”

It was no accident that Joseph was of the house of David and had then to go to enroll in the city of Bethlehem. You consider the distance to be traveled, the poverty of Joseph and Mary, this trip must have been an extreme hardship, especially for a woman so near to giving birth. Nonetheless, Jesus was born. Not in route to, but actually in the predicted city of Bethlehem. His birth was truly beyond his parents’ and his own human control. Obviously this was the result of God’s providence working out the prophecy of the Bible.

Now I want you to notice another amazing prophecy in the scriptures. This time go to Isaiah 40:3. Isaiah wrote some 750 years before the birth of Jesus Christ, and yet he tells us what’s going to happen when Jesus comes into this world. In Isaiah 40:3 we see that Jesus the Messiah would be announced by a herald. Here’s what he wrote.

“The voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.”

Isaiah tells us that there would be one who would prepare the way of the Lord. This herald or messenger would be from the wilderness, and he would announce to the people of Israel that the Messiah had come.

It’s interesting that most of the pretenders to messiahship which we hear about in history have been pretty much their own heralds. Normally, would-be messiahs tend to be rather insecure individuals who prefer to toot their own horns and make no room for powerful prophetic voices to lead the way, as would be the case with the Christ who would come, just as Isaiah had prophesied.

You see, Jesus had a powerful forerunner, John the baptizer. Let’s read about that in Matthew 3:1-6, where Matthew records to us this fulfillment of Isaiah’s Old Testament prophecy. Matthew chapter 3, beginning verse 1.

“In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, and saying, Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying, ‘The voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord; make his paths straight.’ Now John himself was clothed in camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist; and his food was locusts and wild honey. And then Jerusalem, all Judea, and all the region around the Jordan went out to him and were baptized by him in the Jordan, confessing their sins.”

Here we see this messenger that Isaiah said would come and prepare the way of the Lord. He carried such an incredible anointing that people from all over Israel came out to hear him, hear him tell them that they were sinners in need of repentance.

Then there was a third prophecy from Isaiah 61:1-2. Again remember, this was hundreds of years before Jesus was ever born. But Isaiah was able by inspiration of God to look into the future to tell us about this Messiah who was to come. And here Isaiah tells us that this one would be an anointed deliverer.

Isaiah 61:1-2, “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, in the day of vengeance of our God.”

What a shock it must have been when Jesus would read this same passage from the 61st chapter of Isaiah when he came into his hometown of Nazareth in Luke chapter 4 and then apply it to himself. Read with me Luke chapter 4 beginning in verse 16.

“So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written: ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.’ Then He closed the book, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them, ‘Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.’ So all bore witness to Him, and marveled at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth, and they said, ‘Is this not Joseph’s son?'”

You see, through their scriptures, the Jews knew many great men who had been empowered by the Spirit of the Lord. They knew about men like Samson and David and Saul. But this empowerment had nearly always been in reference to leading Israel to victory over her enemies. And now this 30 year old son of a carpenter was declaring that the Spirit of the Lord had come upon him; not for military conquest, but for the liberation of the poor, for the brokenhearted, for those who were bound and oppressed.

And surely, as you and I are familiar with the ministry of Jesus Christ, the ministry that followed this announcement proved that this was no vain boast. In the book of Acts, Peter reminded Cornelius’s household that God “anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil,” Acts 10:38.

Still let’s take a look at another Old Testament prophecy concerning the Messiah who was to come. This time let’s go back to the book of Psalms.

Psalm 118:22. “The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.”

Messiahs are not supposed to be rejected. They’re to be the saviors of their people. They’re to lead the way into the promised land amidst great popular acclaim. No one in Israel was looking for a king who would fail to win the hearts of the people and would end up being put to death by the very ones he had come do save.

No, such a notion was inconceivable. And for this reason the chief priests of Israel felt total confidence in the rightness of their judgment as they mocked Jesus and they told him, “Come down from the cross, and we’ll believe in you.”

What they failed to realize was that the rejection of the Messiah by Israel had been foretold long ago in the book of Psalms.

No one would have expected the Messiah to be rejected. No one would have expected the Messiah to be betrayed by one of his own company. But it had been prophesied a thousand years before. Look at Psalm 41:9.

“Even my own familiar friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted up his heel against me.”

Psalm 41:9 points to that last supper when Jesus dipped the bread and gave it to Judas Iscariot before he went out to betray him, as recorded in John 13:18-30.

But now I want you to notice the minute details of that betrayal given by Zechariah near the end of the Old Testament in Zechariah 11:12-13. Zechariah tells us details that one could have known except they were inspired by God, who could look into the future. Here’s what he says:

“Then I said to them, ‘If it is agreeable to you, give me my wages; and if not, refrain.’ So they weighed out for my wages thirty pieces of silver. And the Lord said to me, ‘Throw it to the potter, that princely price they set on me.’ So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them into the house of the Lord for the potter.”

What’s this talking about? Well, this is a picture of actually what happened when Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus Christ. We only have to go to our New Testaments in Matthew 27:3-10, where Matthew gives us the story.

Notice what Matthew records here, Matthew 27, beginning verse 3.

“Then Judas, His betrayer, seeing that He had been condemned, was remorseful and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, ‘I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.’ And they said, ‘What is that to us? You see to it!’ Then he threw down the pieces of silver in the temple and departed, and went and hanged himself. But the chief priests took the silver pieces and said, ‘It is not lawful to put them into the treasury, because they are the price of blood.’ And they consulted together and bought with them the potter’s field, to bury strangers in. And therefore they field has been called the Field of Blood to this day. Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying, ‘And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the value of Him who was priced, whom they of the children of Israel priced, and they gave them for the potter’s field, as the Lord directed me.'”

Look at these minute details from Zechariah fulfilled here in Matthew 27:3-10. Note that there were thirty pieces of silver, not twenty-nine, that were given to Judas for his betrayal. Thirty, just as Zechariah said.

Notice they were pieces of silver, not gold or some other metal.

Notice that this money was thrown, not placed, in the house of God, not somewhere else. And for the potter’s field, just as Zechariah had prophesied many years before.

Now I also want us to notice another prediction from the book of Psalms, this time in Psalm 22, a most remarkable prediction in that it speaks of how Jesus would suffer his death to pay for the price of our sins, how that he would be crucified on a cross.

Psalm 22, let’s read together verses 12 through 18.

“Many bulls have surrounded Me; strong bulls of Bashan have encircled Me. They gape at Me with their mouths, like a raging and roaring lion. I am poured out like water, all My bones are out of joint; My heart is like wax; it is melted within Me. My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and My tongue clings to My jaws; You have brought Me to the dust of death. For dogs have surrounded Me; the congregation of the wicked has enclosed Me. They pierced My hands and My feet; I can count all My bones. They look and stare at Me. They divide My garments among them, and for My clothing they cast lots.”

You see, not only do the scriptures tell that the Messiah must die, they reveal the very method of his death, even though that method did not exist at the time the prophecy was written here in Psalm 22.

Psalm 22 is an incredible depiction of Christ’s death on the cross, being pierced in his hands and feet. What an amazing description of an agonizing death, and all the more so when we consider that David never came even remotely close to dying like that.

That Psalm was not about David and his death; no, it pointed to the greater David, Jesus Christ. There was no such thing as crucifixion in David’s day. It was invented by others hundreds of years later. But the all-knowing Holy Spirit was speaking through the mouth of his servant to show the sufferings of the one who “was wounded for our transgressions and bruised for our iniquities,” (Isaiah 53:5).

But then let us note another Psalm, Psalm 16:10, because you see, the Old Testament not only speaks of the death of Christ, but it also speaks of how he was raised from the dead. Psalm 16, notice verse 10.

“For You will not leave My soul in Sheol, nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.”

When David wrote the Psalms, he had no idea that they would one day be a part of the infallible word of God or that he was writing about the ultimate king of Israel, the King of kings and Lord of lords, Jesus Christ. But he wrote to express his love for the Lord and to give vent to the powerful depths of emotion that his relationship with God sometimes fostered.

And here in Psalm 16 David wrote something that even he must have failed to understand, how that his soul would not be left in Hades, how that this one would not be allowed to see corruption.

And many centuries later, on that unforgettable day when the Holy Spirit was poured out upon the apostles, Peter quoted this verse under the power of the Holy Spirit in reference to the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Peter declared that David’s body was still dead, it was rotting in the tomb, but in fulfillment of this prophecy in Psalm 16, Jesus the Messiah had been raised from the dead, never to see decay.

Let’s remember this morning that these are just a few of the many prophecies concerning the Messiah in the scriptures, all of which are fulfilled in the one man, Jesus Christ.

For example, he was to be born of a virgin, he was to be a descendant of David, he was to be called out of Egypt, and the children of Bethlehem would be slain; he was to preach in parables, he would be spit upon and scourged, he was to be given gall and vinegar to drink; soldiers would gamble for his garments, he was to be forsaken by God, none of his bones would be broken, his side was to be pierced, he was to be buried with the rich, he would ascend into heaven and establish an everlasting kingdom.

All of these things had been laid out before in the Old Testament scriptures about that one who was to come.

And Jesus fulfilled them all.

There are more than 320 Old Testament prophecies relating to the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. On the day of crucifixion alone, 33 distinct and separate prophecies concerning Christ were fulfilled.

The biography of Jesus was written centuries before he was ever born.

Could such prophecies have been mere coincidence? In a book called Science Speaks, Peter Stoner has calculated that the odds of any 8 prophecies having been accidentally fulfilled in the life of one man would have been 1 in 1 followed by 17 zeroes. That’s a big number.

Let’s try to understand exactly what that means. Suppose we take that many silver dollars and we scatter them across the state of Texas. They’ll cover the entire state to a depth of two feet.

Now let’s mark one of those coins with a big old X, and then let’s blindfold a man, give him a parachute, start him on a plane flying across Texas. And whenever he chooses, he can bail out, and upon landing, he picks up at random the first silver dollar his hand touches.

How likely is it that he’ll get the one marked with an X? Exactly the same odds the prophets had of writing just 8 prophecies which would have been fulfilled in the life of Jesus.

All of this spells out one inescapable truth: Jesus is the Messiah, he’s the Christ, that long-awaited savior of the world, the one that was prophesied to come.

Yes, as Christians, our faith does not rest upon some kind of blind faith; no, it rests upon a faith, a solid faith, a faith with a solid foundation, founded in the word of God. As the scripture says in Romans 10:17, “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.”

What about you today? Do you believe it? And what are you going to do about it?

You see, if Jesus is who he claimed to be, that one that was prophesied of long ago, and we’ve already shown that he must be, because he was able to fulfill all of those prophecies, then that means there really is a savior, that one really did die for your sins, and paying that price, was raised again the third day; that he’s alive and that he’s well, and that he can take you home to heaven.

Won’t you believe it?

Won’t you trust him for that?

Turning from your sin, confessing your faith, give yourself to him in baptism, and then devote your life to him. Ever trusting Jesus, he will come someday and take you home.

We here at The Truth In Love want to help you to come to Jesus Christ, to faith in him. So let us know how we can help you towards heaven today.

Singing >> Nearer, still nearer, close to thy heart draw me, my Savior, so precious thou art. Hold me, oh, hold me close to thy breast; shelter me safe in that haven of rest. Shelter me safe in that haven of rest.

ROBERT >> I’d like to thank you for watching the program today. Our interest in our viewers with regard to our program is about eternal salvation. It’s not about money, it’s not about anything like that. We’re interested in your soul.

And the Bible says that for a person to be saved, you have to first of all believe in Jesus Christ. Not just believe in him generally, but believe that he is indeed the Son of God.

He said, “Except you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins,” (John 8:24).

But he also said that a person must repent of sins, to change your mind about your sinful past and to decide to change your action and live for God. “Except you repent, you will perish,” Jesus said in Luke 13:3.

The Bible also teaches us that in order to be saved, we have to be willing to verbally confess to others our faith in Jesus Christ. Paul wrote to the Romans in Romans 10:10 that “confession is made unto salvation.”

But even that’s not enough, because the Bible also teaches that a person must be immersed in water to have their sins washed away by the blood of Christ.

Peter said on the day of Pentecost to those who asked what they must do to be saved, “Repent and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins,” (Acts 2:38).

Jesus said, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved,” (Mark 16:16). When a person does that, they don’t earn their salvation. That’s just the moment at which the blood of Christ washes sins.

Revelation 1:5 tells us that it is the blood of Jesus that washes away our sins.

Acts 22:16 tells us when the blood washes. “Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.”

I hope you’ll study these things for yourself to see if these things be so, and I hope and pray that if you’ve not obeyed the gospel that you will before it’s eternally too late.

If you have any questions, comments or requests, if you would like a personal home Bible study or special prayers, if you’d like more information about the lesson today or if you’d like to order today’s lesson or any other lesson on CD, DVD, or in manuscript form, let me encourage you to write us here at The Truth In Love or e-mail us. You may call our toll-free number or visit our web site. You’ll see the information on the screen. All of our materials and services are absolutely free of charge.

We just want to do what we can to help us all towards heaven. So let us know how we can help you, and please join us next time right here on The Truth In Love.

SINGING >> The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord lift his countenance upon you, and give you peace, and give you peace, and give you peace, and give you peace; the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious unto you, and be gracious; the Lord be gracious, gracious unto you. Amen, amen, amen, amen. [end]

 

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1439 Grace, Faith, Works, And Salvation

Transcript:

ROBERT >> This morning I want us all to take a little test on grace, faith, works, and salvation. Don’t worry, it’s a multiple choice.

Which one or ones would you check? Grace equals salvation, faith equals salvation, works equals salvation, grace plus faith equals salvation, grace plus faith plus works equals salvation, none of the above, all of the above?

I know it’s easy to get confused, and even the Bible seems to contradict itself. For example, when you read in Ephesians 2 and Romans 4 that salvation is not by works and then you read in James chapter 2 that it is by works, you may wonder, what is the Biblical doctrine concerning grace, faith, works, and salvation? This is an eternally important question because we’re talking about salvation.

SINGING>> Blessed be the Lord God Almighty who reigns for evermore.

ROBERT >> This morning I want us to consider three things that will help us to sort all this out about grace, faith, works, and salvation. First of all, let’s notice that the popular doctrines of salvation by grace only and faith only are not found in the Bible.

Now that may surprise some of you, but let’s see what the Bible says. Certainly the Bible teaches we are saved by grace. The Bible says in Ephesians 2:5 and Ephesians 2:8, “For by grace are you saved through faith.” Titus 2:11 reminds us that, “The grace of God has appeared unto all men, bringing salvation.”

And by the way, there’s evidence there that we’re not saved by grace only, else everybody would be saved, because “the grace of God has appeared unto all men, bringing salvation.”

We can look in Acts 15:11 and Romans 3:24, and we can see the importance, the necessity of grace in our salvation. Grace means that God gives us what we do not deserve. As Paul said in Romans 6:23, “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.” Yes, without the grace of God, we would all be lost in our sins.

“Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me; I once was lost but now am found; was blind, but now I see.” But nowhere does the Bible teach we are saved by grace only.

Certainly the Bible teaches we’re saved by faith. We again look in Ephesians 2:8, “For by grace are you saved through faith.” And the Hebrew writer tells us in chapter 11 and verse 6 that, “Without faith it is impossible to please God.” We must “believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him.”

You can look in 2 Timothy 3:15, in 1 Peter 1:5 and 9. All of these emphasize the essentiality of faith, of belief in our salvation. You might remember these words of Jesus in Mark 16:16, where he said, “He that believes and is baptized will be saved; he that disbelieves will be condemned”; or the words of the apostle Paul to that Roman guard in Acts 16:31, where he told him, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved”; or Romans 1:16, how “the gospel is the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes”; or Romans 10:9-10, how we must “believe in our heart unto righteousness”; or in 1 Corinthians 1:21, 2 Thessalonians 2:13.

If we do not believe in Jesus, we will die in our sins. Hear his words in John 8:24: “Unless you believe that I am He, you shall die in your sins.” But nowhere does the Bible teach we are saved by faith only.

Think about it. If we are saved by grace only, then we cannot be saved by faith. And if we are saved by faith only, then we cannot be saved by grace. The truth is that we are saved by both grace and faith.

In fact, there are many things that save us. Jesus saves us. Matthew 1:21, when he was to be born into this world, it is said that, “You shall call His name Jesus, for He shall save His people from their sins.” He himself said in Luke 19:10, “The Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” 1 Timothy 1:15, “This is a good and faithful saying”, Christ Jesus saves us. He’s our savior.

The longsuffering of our Lord saves us according to 2 Peter 3:15.

Sanctification by the Spirit, the renewal of the Holy Spirit saves us according to 2 Thessalonians 2:13 and Titus 3:5.

The gospel message, the word saves us, Romans 1:16, the gospel, “the power of God to salvation”.

James 1:21, the word, that implanted word which is able to save our souls. Read Acts 11:14, 1 Corinthians 1:21, 2 Timothy 3:15.

All of these emphasize how that the gospel, the word of God saves our soul. But notice also that there are other things that save us. How that “calling on the name of the Lord” saves us in Acts 2:21. In Romans 10:13, “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Belief and confession save us, Romans 10:9-10.

Godly sorrow and repentance save us according to 2 Corinthians 7:10.

Belief and baptism saves us according to Mark 16:16. Baptism saves us according to 1 Peter 3:21.

A wife might save her husband, a husband might save his wife according to 1 Corinthians 7:16. Paul was talking about the influence that they may have on them for Christ.

The apostle Paul saved some, according to 1 Corinthians 9:22. He did everything that he “might save some”.

Timothy himself could be saved AND those who heard him if he was diligent as a preacher, according to 1 Timothy 4:16.

Even affliction and comfort are necessary for our salvation according to 2 Corinthians 1:6.

Endurance saves us, Romans 10:22.

Hope saves us, Romans 8:24.

Works save us, Philippians 2:12, James 2:24.

Do we not see that there are many things that are involved in the salvation of our souls? So no, we’re not saved by grace only or by faith only. There are many different things that save us.

Now let’s know secondly this morning that the Bible speaks of several different kinds of works. You see, there are works that are done in an attempt to earn or to merit salvation. But the only thing that can pay for our sins is the sacrifice of Jesus. Such works cannot save us without the sacrifice of Jesus.

You look in Ephesians chapter 2, and you see the emphasis on the fact that it was God’s mercy, God’s grace. It’s what God provided through Jesus Christ that enables us to be saved. Titus 2:3-7, “Not by works of righteousness which we have done.” You see, it’s according to God’s grace. It involved the sacrifice of Christ. God’s grace is the source, it’s the basis, it’s the grounds of our salvation.

All of our works could never pay for even one sin. Only the sacrifice of Christ could pay for our sins.

Notice also that there are works of the law of Moses. This law was given to the Jewish nation, but never to any other nation. It showed them that they were sinners in need of a savior, because every one of them transgressed, fell under its condemnation, save the Lord Jesus Christ. You see, the law of Moses cannot save; it only points us to the savior, Jesus Christ.

Look with me if you will for just a moment in Romans chapter 3 and Romans chapter 4. The apostle Paul was showing that Gentiles had fallen into sin, and thus God gave them up, that they needed a savior; but he also points out how that the Jews needed a savior as well, having fallen under the condemnation of the law.

Notice here in Romans 3:19, “Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God; therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in his sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.”

What the law showed the Jewish people is that they were sinners in need of a savior.

Look at it a little bit further as you go on in Romans chapter 3, beginning in verse 21. “But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.”

So how can we be made right with God? Not through the law, but through that one that the law pointed to, Jesus Christ. Notice Romans 3:28, “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law.”

The problem is that the Jews tried to earn their salvation by the works of the law instead of trusting God for it. Look with me in Romans 9:32, where the apostle Paul really brings this together, I think. He says, “Why is it?” Why is it that Israel keeps pursuing the law of righteousness and hasn’t attained that law? How come they can’t ever get right with God? Why? “Because they did not seek it by faith, but as it were by the works of the law; for they stumbled at the stumbling stone.” They failed to realize their need for the savior, Jesus Christ, that they could never earn or merit their salvation.

So the Bible speaks of works of merit, and it speaks of those works that were done under the law. But the Bible also speaks of the works of faith, 1 Thessalonians 1:3 and 2 Thessalonians 1:11.

In both of these letters the apostle Paul commended the church at Thessalonica for their works of faith. This is the obedience that comes from a heart of faith. Trusting not in one’s perfect performance of keeping God’s word, but in Christ for salvation.

Let’s look at this in Romans the 4th chapter. Notice verse 11 and verse 12. “And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while still uncircumcised, that he might be the father of all those who believe, though they are uncircumcised, that righteousness might be imputed to them also; and the father of circumcision to those who are not only of the circumcision, but also walk in the steps of the faith which our father Abraham had while still uncircumcised.”

Do you see something here? Do you see that Abraham was the father of all those who believe, of those who also walk in the steps of the faith? So you see, true saving Biblical faith is a faith that obeys, it’s a faith that walks, it’s a faith that works.

In fact, Romans begins in Romans 1:5 speaking of “the obedience of faith”, and the book ends in Romans 16:26 speaking of “the obedience of faith”.

In Galatians 5:6, the apostle Paul spoke of what really is effective for salvation. What is it that avails for salvation? Was it circumcision? Was it keeping of the law? Could we earn it? Could we merit it? No. He said it was “faith working through love”.

Philippians 2:12, he tells the church there, “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” And look at it in James chapter 2 as James addresses this same subject and he speaks of this same work of faith, the obedience of faith and how important it is to our salvation.

James chapter 2 beginning in verse 14, he asked this question: “What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith, but does not have works? Can faith save him?” Well, the obvious answer is that it doesn’t profit him anything to have faith without works. That kind of faith does not save.

Notice what he says in verse 17. “Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” “Faith without works is dead,” as it goes on to conclude in verse 26 of this chapter.

Notice also verse 22. “Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect?” Complete faith, perfect faith, the faith that saves is a faith that works.

In verse 24 he makes this statement: “You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.” Read Acts 20:21. Look at Romans 6:17-18 where he talks about the obedience of faith from the heart; in Romans 10:9-10, how that we must believe in our heart unto righteousness; and Galatians 3:26-27, how that we’re “sons of God through faith” when we’re “baptized into Christ”; Ephesians 3:10, how that we’ve been “created in Christ Jesus unto good works”; or Colossians 2:12, how that we’re “raised out of the waters of baptism,” notice this, “through faith in the working of God”.

Baptism is just an act of faith where we’re trusting God to raise us up a new creation. Titus 2:11-14, how, “The grace of God teaches us that denying ungodliness and worldly lust, we should live soberly and righteously and godly in this present world.” Grace teaches us to be obedient to God.

Hebrews 6:1, Hebrews 6:10 emphasizes the importance of working obedient faith. And so we see how that we must trust God enough to do what he says to do in order to be saved.

Jesus said in Matthew 7:21, “Not every one that says unto Me Lord, Lord, shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven.” “Why call Me ‘Lord, Lord,'” he says, “and not do the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46). Yes, Jesus is “the author of eternal salvation to all those who obey Him,” Hebrews 5:8-9.

No, we’re not saved by grace only, we’re not saved by faith only. There are many things that save us.

We are saved by works, not the works of merit, not the works of the law, no, but we are saved by the works of faith when we trust the Lord enough to do what he’s told us to do in order that we might be saved.

But let’s notice this last point today. According to the Bible, works of faith are necessary for salvation. You see, grace is God’s initiative. He loved us, and he loved us first. 1 John 4:19 says, “We love Him because He first loved us.” “God demonstrated His love toward us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us,” Romans 5:8.

You see, before we asked, before we did anything, “from the foundation of the world” Christ was “slain for the sins of all,” 1 Peter 1:18-20.

Revelation 13:8. John 1:29, when John the Baptizer saw Jesus Christ, he said, “Behold the Lamb of God which takes away the sins of the world.” He knew that was God’s plan, that was God’s purpose, that God in his grace would provide the sacrifice of Jesus to pay for our sins.

1 Timothy 2:6, 1 John 2:2, “Jesus Christ is the propitiation,” that atoning sacrifice for our sins; “and not for our sins only, but for the sins of the whole world.” You see, we cannot obtain salvation on our own without Jesus Christ.

He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life, and no one comes unto the Father but by Me.” “There is no other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved,” Acts 4:12.

But notice, faith is man’s response. We believe, we trust with our hearts, with our whole lives the one who loves us so. That involves a decision of faith. The Bible calls it repentance, how that we must “repent and turn again, that their sins might be blotted out, that “times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord,” Acts 3:19; how that “godly sorrow produces repentance, that leads to salvation,” 2 Corinthians 7:10.

We must make that decision to repent. That means to turn from sin, to live for God. “Unless you repent, ye shall all likewise perish,” Luke 13:3.

It also includes a declaration of faith. The Bible calls it confession. Before Philip would baptize the Ethiopian in Acts 8:37, he said, “If you believe, you may.” He said, “I believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” And upon that confession, they both went down in the water, and he baptized him.

You see, there must be that declaration of faith, because, “With the mouth confession is made unto salvation”; “with the heart man believes unto righteousness,” Romans 10:9-10.

One must declare faith in Jesus as the Christ, the Lord, the savior of the world, the Son of God. And Jesus said, “Whoever confesses Me before men, him will I confess before My Father who is in heaven; whoever denies Me before men, him will I also deny before My Father who is in heaven,” Matthew 10:32-33.

So there must be that decision of faith, that repentance in our heart. There must be that declaration of faith declaring our faith in Jesus Christ; but there must also be a demonstration of faith, baptism.

“He that believes and is baptized will be saved,” Jesus said in Mark 16:16. “Repent and be baptized” “for the remission of sins,” Acts 2:38. “Baptism also saves us,” 1 Peter 3:21.

Baptism’s not a work of merit. It’s not a work of the law of Moses. It’s an act of faith and obedience to the gospel of Christ. “Arise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord,” Acts 22:16.

Read Romans 6 and Galatians 3 and Colossians 2, where it describes baptism as putting us “into Christ” and “burying” us with Christ and “raising us” with Christ.

In baptism we’re “united with Christ,” we’re “added to his church” with all the saved, 1 Corinthians 12:13, Acts 2:47.

You’ve got to be baptized. You’ve got to be “born again of water and the Spirit,” as Jesus said in John 3:5. But it’s just the beginning of the new life. You see, finally it calls for a devotion of faith, a life of faith.

Paul put it like this: “I’ve been crucified with Christ, and it’s no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life that I now live, I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me.”

Paul was living by faith because he knew that that’s what the Lord wanted of him. Hebrews 12:1-2, “Seeing we’re compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily besets us, and let us run with patience the race that’s set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Yes, it’s trusting in Jesus Christ, never giving up on Christ, always looking to Jesus Christ that he’ll bring us home.

2 Timothy 4:7-8, I see the apostle Paul in his old age writing these last words to the young preacher Timothy, reminding him of how his departure was at hand, how that he had “fought the good fight,” how he had “kept the faith,” how he had “finished the course”. It was keeping faith with Jesus Christ that he could go on to say, “There’s laid up for me a crown of righteousness which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give to me in that day; and not to me only, but to all those who have loved His appearing.”

Yes, we must strive to glorify God in all things, to keep his commandments, trusting him for salvation until Jesus returns.

Oh, how sad it will be for some who, “having known the truth”, continue to “sin willfully”, “turning their backs” on Jesus, “trodding under foot the Son of God”, “insulting the Spirit of grace”, “counting the blood of the covenant an unholy thing”, as the Hebrew writer says in Hebrews 10:26-31. “These,” he says, fall “into the hands of the living God.”

You can be saved by grace through faith when you make that decision to turn away from your sin to live for God, when you declare your faith if Jesus Christ as the Son of God, and you give yourself to him in the waters of baptism, and being raised to walk in newness of life you keep faith with Jesus. “This is good, acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth,” 1 Timothy 2:3-4.

Won’t you be saved by grace through faith?

Won’t you let us know here at The Truth In Love how we can help you towards heaven today?

SINGING >> Refiner’s fire, my heart’s one desire is to be holy, set apart for you, Lord. I choose to be holy, set apart for you, my master, ready to do your will. Refiner’s fire, my heart’s one desire is to be holy, set apart for you, Lord. I choose to be holy, set apart for you, my master, ready to do your will. Lord, I’m ready to do your will.

ROBERT >> Thank you for watching our program today. We’ve but one goal, to help us all towards heaven. This is the mission God has given us to, to go and make disciples of Jesus Christ, baptizing them, teaching them, Matthew 28:19.

We know that the gospel of Christ is God’s power unto salvation, Romans 1:16. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life, and no one comes to the Father but by Me,” John 14:6. Yes, “there’s no other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved,” Acts 4:12. And therefore, like Paul said in 1 Corinthians 2:2, “We seek to preach Jesus Christ and Him crucified.”

Unlike so many other religious television programs, we’re not going to ask for any money. Everything’s provided by churches of Christ and individual Christians who support us so that we can bring it to you absolutely free of charge. So feel free to let us know if you have any questions, comments, or requests, if you’d like a personal home Bible study or special prayers, if you’d like to order today’s lesson or any other lesson on CD, DVD, or in manuscript form, whatever you need, let me encourage you to write The Truth In Love at P.O. Box 865, Hurst, Texas, 76053. You may e-mail us at requests@ttil.tv, or call our toll-free number, 800-819-2966. And also please visit our web site at www.ttil.tv.

Again, remember that you’ll never have to pay for any of our materials and services.

We want to thank the many churches of Christ who help support this program. And let me also encourage you to visit one of them in your area very soon. Their names will be scrolled on the screen at the end of the program. We just want to do what we can to help us all towards heaven. So let us know how we can help you, and please join us next time right here on The Truth In Love.

SINGING >> The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord lift his countenance upon you, and give you peace, and give you peace, and give you peace, and give you peace; the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious unto you, and be gracious; the Lord be gracious, gracious unto you. Amen, amen, amen, amen. [end]

 

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